Today we discuss why America’s history is not a story of racism, but one of triumph over racism, though it could have been faster to do so. This is in no way to belittle the struggles of victims of racist policies, institutions, or individuals. Rather it is the recognition that despite man’s innate fear of others, we found a way to look beyond tribes and become one America.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
Washington: While Washington did own slaves, he fought to free this nation. Then, when he became president twice, he stepped down and relinquished his power when he could have been king.
Jefferson: His story is actually a bit more complicated than Washington’s. He was actually not the true owner of the slaves he owned. Rather, most were the inheritance he received that did not account for the massive debt he’d accrued. Thus, creditors owned his slaves and most everything else Jefferson owned.
Despite all this, he was one of the Founding Fathers most in favor of the spreading of newly founded rights to as many people as possible.
Lincoln: He did not set out to get rid of slavery in the Civil War, although he was an abolitionist, but he did end up doing so. His intention was to preserve the union and in doing so did a lot of legally and constitutionally dicey things. He suspended Habeas Corpus and denied southern states their right to self government. When people are being “owned” by others, something must be done to intervene